Help to create the first ever forest soundmap of the world

Timber Festival organisers are encouraging people across the world to contribute audio recordings to create the world’s first forest ‘soundmap’.

New Forest in Hampshire. © Kelvin Murray/Getty

Timber Festival — a three day festival celebrating people’s connection to trees and woodlands through music, art, and ideas — has launched Sounds of the Forest, an ambitious project that aims to connect people with trees and one another by gathering sounds of woodlands and forests from across the world.

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Ordinarily, people would be gathering at Timber Festival in the National Forest, but this year, due to coronavirus, the festival has been cancelled.

But this hasn’t stopped organisers from pressing on with Sounds of the Forest, which will launch at the start of July this year, when the festival was due to take place.

The mass participation audio project requires people to visit their local forest or woodland, recording one minute of the sounds that they hear.

These sounds will then form an open source library that anyone can listen to or create from, and at Timber 2021, selected artists will respond to the sounds that have been gathered, creating music, audio, or artwork from them.

“We’re incredibly excited to launch Sounds of the Forest,” said Rowan Cannon and Sarah Bird, directors of Wild Rumpus, partners in creating Timber Festival.

“While we can’t be together in person in July, this gives us the opportunity to gather in a different way. So, wherever you live across the world, visit a woodland, recharge under the leaves and record your sounds of the forest. If you are out and about, please continue to observe social distancing — we want you all to remain safe.”

For details on how to send audio files, and technical advice on how to get the best quality recording from your phone, visit the website.


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Main image: New Forest in Hampshire. © Kelvin Murray/Getty